Tag Archives: Proboscis Monkey

Proboscis Monkeys: Up close

Borneo’s Proboscis Monkeys

I was fascinated by Borneo’s Proboscis Monkeys! It was a rare chance to observe and photograph an endangered species in the wild. Proboscis Monkeys seem so human-like!  Imagine a monkey with a distinctive huge nose and a pot belly. They often walk upright (rare for mammals) and sit like humans sit.

The proboscis monkey name, Nasalis larvatus, literally translates to “long nose,” and you can see why (below):

Rare Proboscis Monkey - relaxing on a low branch  | Bako National Park in Borneo, Malaysia
Rare Proboscis Monkey – relaxing on a low branch, in Borneo, Malaysia

A male proboscis monkey’s nose can reach up to 7 inches in length!

Sometimes Proboscis Monkeys seem so human-like!  This proboscis monkey was frantically eating as if he hadn’t eaten for days! Take a look in this video clip from my time in Malaysian Borneo:

Bako National Park also has bearded pigs, which greeted us upon entering the island. When we heard a typical pig sound later in the day, we were surprised to hear these honking sounds coming from proboscis monkeys.

Proboscis monkeys live on a special diet of leaves, flowers and seeds of vegetation found only in rivers, mangroves, and peat swamps
Proboscis monkeys live on a special diet of leaves, flowers and seeds of vegetation found only in rivers, mangroves, and peat swamps
Female proboscis monkeys have much smaller noses - Borneo, Sarawak, Malaysia
Female proboscis monkeys have much smaller noses – Borneo, Sarawak, Malaysia

Orangutans are much more closely related to humans, but the mannerisms of proboscis monkeys made me stop in my tracks and want to observe them all day. I did.

Disagreeing with Nat Geo

Proboscis monkeys: “they’re graceful, they can swim, and they’re in trouble,” according to National Geographic. I agree with the latter two of those statements. They’re surprising good swimmers and deforestation is certainly endangering their species. But graceful??

After a few days of observing them in the wild, I respectfully disagree (at least with the few dozen that I saw at Bako National Park in Borneo / Malaysia).

This proboscis monkey (below) started to swing from one branch to another, not realizing it couldn’t support his weight and promptly dropped to the ground, bounced, and tried it again with the next branch. You’d think that years of evolution might help them in this area. They only have 10.5 square miles to explore, so I’d assume they’d get to know the terrain fairly well. Even worse, the larger proboscis monkey behind him followed his lead, with the same result.

[I’m going through the videos I shot and will post the live action demo then]

Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo: never seen monkeys like these

What’s a Proboscis Monkey? Since they’re only found in Borneo, you probably haven’t seen them before, so I’ll start with some photography from my trip to Bako National Park, in the Sarawak region of Malaysia in Borneo (full post on proboscis monkeys can be found here).  Like my orangutan encounter the day before (including baby orangutans!), I was just steps away from these rare creatures, giving me plenty of opportunity to observe and photograph. I did plenty of both!

After seeing what Probiscus Monkeys look like, and I was fascinated and wanted to learn more about them. I’ll share what I learned in the next posts, which will include proboscis monkey facts and proboscis monkey photos.